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Publication numberUS2788059 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1957
Filing dateJun 20, 1952
Priority dateJun 20, 1952
Publication numberUS 2788059 A, US 2788059A, US-A-2788059, US2788059 A, US2788059A
InventorsMackintosh Charles
Original AssigneeMackintosh Charles
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible furniture
US 2788059 A
Abstract  available in
Images(7)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 9, 1957 c. MAcKxNTosH COLLAPSIBLE FURNITURE 7 Sheets-Sheet l Filed June 20, 1952 9' ATTORNEYS April 9, 1957 Filed June 2o, 1952 c. MAcKlNTosH COLLAPSIBLE FURNITURE v7 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEYS '7 She'ets-Sheet 3 Filed June'zo, 1952 ATTORNEYS 7 Sheets-Sheet 4 i R ff, f, VWL im Mm /f .W .A .r

i 4. M JM, l WM m M, f /AT L@ 4 r. ruin 1 ATTORNEYS April 9, 1957 c. MAcKlNTosH coLLAPsIBLE FURNITURE April 9, 1957 c. MAcKlNTosH 2,788,059

COLLAPSIBLE FURNITURE Filed June 20, 1952 7 Sheets-Sheet 5 I INVENTOR ./Z Mi Zl BY M 7&5,

ATTORNEYS April 9, 1957 c. MAcKlNTosH coLLAPsIBLE FURNITURE:

'7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed June 2O 1952 1N VENTOR BY Www@ Myzw ATTOR NEYS April 9, 1957 c. MAcKlNTosH CGLLAPSIBLE FURNITURE '7 sheets-sheet 7 Filed .June 2o, 195.2

INVENTORl BY 7&5;

aku Nmwu ATTORNEYS United States Patent() COLLAPSIBLE FURNITURE Charles Mackintosh, Los Angeles, Calif.

Application June 20, 1952, Serial No. 294,654

12 Claims. (Cl. 155-124) This invention relates to collapsible furniture and more particularly to furniture of the class which may be folded together when not in use to occupy small spaces, so that the several articles of furniture may be readily stacked one upon the other, or stowed in shallow recesses or closet spaces provided in the walls of a room or merely folded against the wall itself.

Schools, churches, and fraternal organizations often ind it desirable to use auditorium, classroom, or gymnasium space for holding dinners or banquets or for other occasions where tables and seats are required to accommodate large numbers of persons. It will be readily understood that it would be exceedingly difcult if not impossible to move and store large unwieldy furniture of the usual permanent type into and out of such halls or enclosures on such special occasions, so it has been proposed to provide tables and benches of foldable or collapsible character which may be readily disposed of when not in use; and it is the general object of the present invention to improve on the structure, arrangement, and operation of such temporary furniture and to provide certain accessories therefor which will render the furniture more efficient, sturdy, safe, and economical in manufacture. Although serving admirably in such unusual or irregular roles, the novel installation can function con veniently as equipment for more or less continual use, say for example in a cafeteria in a school or other location, the collapsible nature of the table and bench combination making for eiiiciency and thoroughness in keeping the premises clean and sanitary.

In its broader aspects the invention contemplates the provision of multiple unit tables with or without attached benches, the sections of the table-top being hinged together so that at alternate hinge points, the table sections fold in opposite directions either upwardly or downwardly. At or adjacent to the several hinge points, there' are provided depending legs or transverse leg frames, each of which is hinged to the tabletop so that during the folding operation the leg elements may still occupy successive vertical positions.

In the preferred embodiments, the hinge means provided between the table sections are resiliently biased to urge the sections toward one position or the other against theV force of gravity, in order to balance the table sections vand enable them to be folded and unfolded with the expenditure of a minimum of effort.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of particularly wide hinge means at the joints of the table which rise during the folding movement, whereby when fully folded and stored suicient space is provided between the adjacent panels or sections of the table-top to accommodate the intervening leg frames.

In all cases where the leg frames do not rise during the folding movement, but maintain their contact with the oor, they may be provided with rollers or wheels to facilitate the movement thereof and to `protect the door surface Other features of the invention include the provision liatented Apr. 9, 1 957 ICC of certain bracing means which serve to guide the leg lelism with an adjacent table-top section, and locking means for preventing the unauthorized removal of the table from stowed position.

Another and particularly important feature of the invention concerns the provision of benches along one or both sides of the table and means for causing the benches to collapse and fold simultaneously with the folding of the tabletop sections. A particular novel feature of the bench arrangement is the means for supporting. and folding a series of independent spaced bench sections, this feature having the peculiar advantage of providing gaps between the bench sections through which diners or others may pass in order to occupy their seats, without the necessity of stepping over the benchesv or sliding along the benches all the way from the outer end of the installation. Furthermore, the progress of a diner. or other occupant along even the short stretches of benchas are provided in the instant construction, is facilitated by the nature and arrangement of the combination supporting leg frames. These frames, while serving as supports for both the table-top and the benches, offer little or no obstruction to movement along the space between the benches and the table proper, since the bench-supporting and table-supporting portions of the frames arercrossconnected only at oor level.

Other objects and features of novelty will be apparent from the following specification when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which certain embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example.

In the drawings:

Figure l is a plan view of a combined table and bench installation embodying the principles of the invention;

Figure 2 is a view in side elevation of the same installation in somewhat diagrammatic form and with an intermediate collapsed position of the table and bench indicated in broken lines;

Figure 3 is a side or edge view of the table in collapsed position, the bench being omitted for the sake of clearer illustration of the other parts;

Figure 4 is a view on an enlarged scale in front elevation of the table in fully folded or collapsed position against the wall;

Figure 5 is a view in transverse section of the installation, taken on line 55 of Figure 2;

Figure 6 is a plan View of a bracing detail taken on line 6-6 of Figure 4;

Figure 7 is a fragmentary side edge view showing a torsion rod balancing feature;

Figure 8 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the same detail;

Figure 9 is a plan view similar to Figure 1 but showing another embodiment of the invention; l

Figure lO is a view in side elevation of the installation shown in Figure 9 with an intermediate folded position indicated in broken lines;

Figure 11 is a side view on a somewhat enlarged scale of the same installation in collapsed position, the bench parts being omitted; j

Figure 12 is aview in end elevation of this form of table and bench combination;

Figure 13 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken on line 13-13 of Figure 10;

Figure 14 is a detail horizontal sectional view takenon line 14-14 of Figure l2; l Y

Figure 15 is a detail vertical sectional view taken on line 15-15 of Figure 12; y

Figure 16 is an enlarged detail side view of a hinged leg connection;

Figure 17 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the table showing another form of torsion rod balancing device such as may be used at a central leg supported hinge connection; i

Figure 18 is a fragmentary side view showing a coil spring hinge balance for vuse at a downward folding vconncction where no leg is provided;

Figure 19 is a transverse vertical sectional view of the samcsdetail taken approximately on line 19-19 of Figure Figure 20 is .a similar view showing a modification in which the pintle rod of the hinge is employed yas a torsion balancing device;

Figure 21 is a view in side elevation of a folding table having an oset central hinge andbraced leg frames adapted to be .neatly and compactly enclosed between the table sections when the device is collapsed, the braces causing uniform ,movement of the legs upon either side of the center;

Figure 2-2 is a similar view of the table in an intermediate collapsed position;

Figure 2 3 -is a similar view of .the table in fully col lapsed position;

Figure 24 is an end view of ,the table shown .in Figures 21-23 inclusive;

Figure 25 is a view in side elevation Yo f another embodiment of the invention with provision for multiple supports fora ylonger table;

Figure 26 is a similar view of the table :in an intermediate position;

Figure 27 isa similar viewiof the vtable in fully folded condition;

Figure 28 is an end view of thertableof Figures 25-27 inclusive;

Figure A29 is a view in side elevation `of a table and bench combination employing the bracing features;

Figure 30 is a similar view of the table and ybench in an ,intermediate position;

Figure 3l is a Vsimilar -view ofthetable and bench in fullvcollapsed condition; and

Figure 32 is an end view o f the table and benchlcornbination of Figures .29-31 inclusive.

The embodiment illustrated somewhat diagrammati cally in Figures l-6 inclusive vof the drawings V4is one of two variations in :the wall supported Arr1ultip lepanel folding tables which comprise the illustrated examples of this phase ofthe invention. In this embodiment, the table and bench installation designated .fgenerally by the reference numeral is hingedly attached 5to .the vWall :11 of fa room fand :is 4adapted :torest upon the :floor surface 12.

The `tabletop comprises a plurality :of separate sections or panels 15, 16, 17 and 18, the -panel18 being longer zthan ,thefother three panels on account o fits extension beyond the outermost fsupportinglleg member. A wall contacting upright frame .20, issecurejd to `the wall 11 in any suitable fashion and the innermost Vedge of the rst panel of ,thetable-top ishinged to the wall or to an upward extensionion `the frame 2Q, as lat 21.

At thejunctions betweenithe panelslanjd L16 vand between the panels 17 .and 18 there are provided supporting and hinging arrangements whereby, .during Lthe collapsing of the-table against the wall, thesejunction points rise Y and the two respective pairs of tableftop panels form continually diminishing angles with teach. other until the panelsare foldedlatagaiust the Wall. These hinging and supporting arrangementsfcompriselthejegframes which may includeaapluralityof upright leg elements joined by a transversely extending '10P bar 726 which is preferably of hollow tubular construction as will be understood from an inspection of FiguresiL 7 and 8 of the drawings. Uponieitherfsidefcf thisitopfbarl, `which is rather wider than the supporting flegsofzthe table, are the hinge members 28 teach of whichhas one hinge v plate secured to one of the side faces of the topzbartand the other ifastened tothe underside lof the ytablegpanels. For a `purpose to be f laterfdescribed, tthe width of the top bar 26 and the hinge members is approximately equal to three times the thickness of the vertical leg elements.

At the junction between the panels 16 and 17 a central leg frame 30 is provided, this frame being shown in elevation in Figure 5 of the drawings. The frame 30 comprises the central uprights 32 which are joined at their upper ends by the cross bar 33. At the point of Connection of the top bar 33 of the middle leg frame 30 with the table-to p, the ,panels 16 4and 17 are adapted to fold upwardly about a hinge pintle as the table is co1- lapsed. The details Yof this arrangement may follow that of the second described form 0f the :invention and thus would appear as indicated in Figure 16 of the drawings. These details `will be described kin connection with the later embodiment.

Continuing with the description of the supporting frame 30 as depicted in Figure 5 of the drawings, it will be seen that the lower portions of the uprights 32 are connested by the cross brace 35 and transverse floor GQ11- tacting members are shown at 36, these members 4extending outwardly Vt0 a point beneath the benches which are connected with lthe table-top sections Aso as to `fold against the wall 4s imultaneo usly with the collapsing of the table proper. Upright side posts 37 extend from the ,ends of the floor bars 36 to the cross pieces 38 upon .which the bench sections are hinged in a'manner similar to the hinging of the table `panels to their respective frames. The :respective bench sections, counting from the wall 11 outwardly are vdesignated by the reference numerals 4i), 41,142 and 43. The bench panels intersected by the section line on which Figure 5 is taken `are those designated 42. Outwardly of the post 37 a bracket plate 4S is secured and a depending inverted U-shaped wheeled truck46 is attached toleach of these brackets. An axle 47 ,is trunnioned in each bracket 46 and carries a wheel 31. The wheehmountings 45, 46 are disposed so `as to position `the .bottom bar 36 a very slight distance above the oor when the table andthe benches are empty, but are flexible `enough to let the bar 36 come into bearing contact with `the floor as soon as a minimum load is applied. The oor contacting surfaces of the bars 36 may be padded or covered with carpet if desired.

One particular feature of the invention is the spacing of the bench sections to provide the gaps Si) through which those who are to use 4the table and benches may pass Without the necessity of `stepping over the benches.

Just inwardly from the outer end of the tableftop there is positioned a leg frame 55 whichyis quite similar tothe vvs {heeled intermediate frame 3i) but which possesses certain differences `in construction and utility which-.will b e -exa1 nined more thoroughly in connection with the description of the second illustrated embodiment. It is suilicient to disclose lat this point that the outer leg frame 55 ,is provided with an upper transverse bali- 56 which `is hinged pear its outer edge as at 57 to the underside of theioutermost panel l18. The two central `uprights of the frame 55 support a vertical face panel 60 and the brackets 61 for the wheels 62 are turned rearwardly from the outer bench supporting posts ,63. The benchsection v 43 is hinged to the top cross piece 64 of the post v6 3 as at 65. The wheel mountings for these framesmaybe-Ayieldablejust as in the case of the-mountings 45, 46 for the wheels 31 of the frames 30.

Spacedlongitudinally of the table ,from either side of the secondary leg frames ZSare the additional leg frames 70. These v frames may Vbe in mostrespects similar to the intermediate endend frames 30 and 55 with the exception that they ,are not provided withrollers V or wheels and with the further exception that the upper ycross `bars 71 of theframesjt) areside-hinged as at 72 tothe underside ofthe respective table-top sections. The several bench sections 40, 41,42and 43 are hinged as at 74 4to thecross bar 75lof the side post 76 of these frames 70.

Extending forwardly from the wall attached frame 20 tis apair of fixed panels 80 `secured .to the wall or the frame 20 as by means of the upper and lower straps or braces 81. This is clearly shown in Figures 2, 4 and 6 of the drawings. These frames 80 are disposed so as to be positioned upon either side of the movable panel 60 which is carried by the front leg frame 55 and the leg frames and associated parts are s o constructed and arranged that there will be no obstruction to the passage of these leg frames past the protruding panels 80 during the collapsing of the table. The movable panel 60 is provided with a lock 82 which is adapted to cooperate with a catch or keeper 83 carried by one or the other of the tixed frames 80. In this way the tables may be locked in collapsed or folded position against uauthorized removal. As a further means of concealment of some of the working parts of the device small facing panels 85 may be secured to the side portions of the frame 55 in front of the wheels 62 and these portions provide concealing continuations of the iirst pair of bench sections 43.

This neatly folded or collapsed position of the table against the wall 11 is shown in Figure 4 of the drawings. Figure 3 represents a diagrammatic sectional view of the collapsed table which shows the table panel and leg frames substantially in elevation, omitting principally the benches for the sake of clearness. It will be readily seen how the extra Wide top bars 26 of the leg frames 25 together with the hinges 28 space the several pairs of top panels far enough apart to accommodate not only the depending portions of the leg frames 25 but also the intermediate supporting leg frames 70.

An inspection of the broken line showing in Figure 2 and the collapsed frame as shown in Figure 3 will reveal exactly how the leg frames (with the exception of the wheeled ones 30 and 55) rise from the oor as the table sections angle, the hinge-point narrower leg sections 25 rising to the highest position and the bench-carrying leg frames 70 assuming a position of intermediate height, while the fixed wall-contacting frame 20 and the wheeled frames 30 and 55 remain at oor level.

Due to the hinged mounting of the bench sections upon the side posts of the leg frames 20, 30, 70 and 55, these bench sections provide for parallel movement of the leg frames to which they are connected and all of the leg frames including those designated 25 are maintained in vertical position by means of the jointed connecting linkages 90, 91, 92 and 93 which perform the dual function of spacing the legs and providing foot rails for the occupants of the benches. The hinged junction of the foot rails 91 and 92 upon either side of the central leg frame 30 is clearly though diagrammatically shown in Figure 5 of the drawings.

In order to counterbalance the weight of the rising portions of the table panels and associated bench sections during collapsing or extending of the installation, certain torsion spring devices are employed as illustrated in Figures 7 and 8 of the drawings. An elongated steel rod of suitable resilient properties is bent double adjacent its center point as at 100 in Figiue 8 and two elongated portions 101 are disposed side by side for a distance somewhat less than the width of the table, and the outer end portions 102 of the rod are bent at right angles to the portions 101 so as to lie side by side. The doubled portion 100, 101 of the torsion rod is then inserted into and slid along the interior of the hollow transverse top bar 26 of the leg frames 25 with the bent portions 102 directed vertically downward. Then the depending parallel arms 102 are parted and brought upwardly to a horizontal plane beneath the table-top thus throwing torsional stress in the arms 101. With the rod thus stressed, the ends of the arms 102 are secured to the undersides of the panels 15, 16 and 17, 18 to maintain the stressed condition of the torsion rod when the table is in extended position. It will be readily seen that this torsional stress tends to raise the hinge point at the junction of the panels adjacent the leg 25 against the force of :sol

gravity and thus the weight of the table sections is more or lless balanced and the collapsing of the tables against the wall facilitated.

The embodiment of the invention disclosed in Figures 9-20 will now be described. Referring first to Figures 9, l0 and 11, it will be seen that the leg frames correspending in position to the frames 25 of the earlier described embodiment are omitted and there are no leg supports for the table-top panels at the hinge points where the panel edges move upwardly during the collapsing of the table. This feature affords a saving in material and also removes any possibility of obstruction at these points. The table is adapted to be partially supported by and to fold up against the wall 111 and to rest upon the oor surface 112, and the table-top comprises the hinged panels 115, 116, 117 and 118. With the table proper are associated the bench sections 140, 141, 142 and 143. The wall supported inner leg frame is shown at 120 and the rst panel section 115 is hinged to the wall or to a hinge device associated with the frame 120 asv So far as possible, similar elements of this embodiment will be given the same reference characters as those of the earlier described form of the invention, with the exception of the addition of 100 to each numeral. Thus the secondary rising leg frames are designated 170 and are of substantially the same construction as the frames 70 of the first described embodiment. The intermediate wheeled frame is designated and the end frame 155.

In the absence of the secondary hinged frames 25 and their widely spaced hinges 28, an extended hinge arrangement 128 is provided, this construction being shown very clearly in Figures ll, 18 and 19 of the draw ings. Angled hinge plates 106 are secured at spaced points on the undersurfaces of the respective panels 115 and 116, or 117 and 118, and where the projections of these plates overlap, registering openings are formed to receive the pintle rod 107. A suitable number of these hinge plates 106 may be provided across the width of the panels. A jointed foot rail is provided as in the case of the earlier described embodiment, this rail comprising the sections 190, 191, 192 and 193 and they serve a function similar to that described in connection with the rst form of the invention.

The general arrangement of this embodiment as depicted diagrammatically in Figures 9 and l0 will be understood from the preceding description.

Certain diierences in detail between the two forms of the invention will now be described in connection with Figures 11-16 of the drawings.

The forward leg frame shown in Figure l2 comprises the spaced uprights 108 which support the upper cross bar 156 and a Hoor-contacting transverse bar 109 joins the uprights 108 and extends outwardly toward the seat or bench posts 163. These posts support the cross bars 164 to which the bench sections 143 are 4pivotally connected as at 165.

The construction of the connection between the tloor bar 109 and the bench supporting posts 163 is peculiar to this present embodiment and will be described in connection with Figures 12, 14 and l5 of the drawings. This unusual construction is resorted to in order to provide for the positioning of the roller or Wheels 162 at points transversely of the leg frame so as not to interfere with the wheels and wheeltrucks 131 of the intermediate frame 130. Both the hollow tubular lioor bar 109 and the similarly shaped post 163 terminate short of their projected point of intersection. The metal plate 200 is welded to both the iioor bar 109 and the forward face of the lower end of the upright 163 as clearly shown in Figures 14 and 15. The face plate or screen 185 is then secured by any suitable means to the connecting plate 200, this face plate being similar in construction.

msnen@- and function to the yplate 85 shown inFigure 4 of rthe drawings.

A horizontal plate 202 is welded to the extreme end of -the `bench post '163 and secured to this plate 202 by any suitable means is the inverted lJ-shaped relier carriage 161 -which is supported upon the ground wheel or roller 162. Thus, as clearly seen in -Figure 1:5, lthe cutting away of the bars 109, 163 att'ord room for the roller 162 in its inwardly disposed positions by which collision with Ithe rollers of the intermediate =leg frame is avoided.

Continuing the description of the forward leg frame 1'55, mention Vmust be made lot? the panel or plate 160 which is carried by the uprights i108 `of the central table supporting portion Ao fftheiframe. ',Iltis movable plate 160 is adapted tope brought flush withtwo fixed panels lsimilar I the Panels 0r plates 8,0 ,shea/,I1 .in ,Figures 4 .and 6 of the drawings and ,a ,kick 18,2 is provided .for gewenning with the fixed plates, .Sash as ,these ,indicated .at 80. `in retaining the table in collapsed and stowed position.

The intermediate wheeled leg frame 130 is shown to advantage in Figures 1,3 and 16 and is quite similar to the 4frame 30 illustrated in Figure A5. The 'bench sections 142 are hingedly connected with the upper cross pieces 138 carried by the side posts 137, which are in turn supported at the end of the oor bar 136. The central uprights 132 `rise from the iloor lbar 136 and serve to support the adjacent table-top panels. Brackets 145 serve to support the leg frame 130 upon the wheel trucks 146 which are provided with the `wheels 131.

The upper cross bar which extends transversely at the top of the central uprights 132 is shown at 133 in Figure 16 and secured upon the top surface of this cross bar is the inverted T-shaped hingesupporting element 205, this element having an eye at its upper end to -receive the pintle rod 206. Angled hinge plates 207 and 208 are secured as by means or" the bolts 209 to the respective panel edges of the adjacent panels ,11,6 :and 117 and yeach of these plates is provided with a loop or eye as suggested at 210 to receive the rod 2 06. This arrangement provides an effective hinging `expedient which permits the upward folding of the `adjacent panels at the top of the frame 130, the folded position of the vparts at this point being clearly shown kat the central portion of Figure 11.

A pair of upright struts 2 12 is provided pppn `the central portions of the floor bars 1.09 and `136, and `at equivalent points .on the `frames 17,0, and the overlapping ends of the connecting link-ages 19.1 to `193 are pivoted to these uprights.

The collapsed position lo f the table which comprises this second form of the invention is .clearly shown in Figure 1l of the drawings `where the panel n115 has been brought up against the wall 111, the panels 116 and 117 have `been brought face to `farce above the intermediate eg frame 130, `and the outer panel 11S has been brought into parallelism with the end leg frame 4'155 and Hush with the plates 160 and 80 to foi-m Aa flat surface of considerable area as suggested in Figure 4. T he bench panels are not shown in Figure 11,'but it is obvious how t they would assume foldedA positions similar to those of the table-top panels, and the end bench sections 143 are shown in Figure 4, being aligned with the shield plates 185 which serve to conceal 4the rollers.

Several means for counterbalancing the panels are disclosed in connection with this embodiment of the inventioinone of which is shown in Figures 1S and 19. In this arrangement a coil spring 215 surrounds the pintle rod 107 at the two hinge joints 128 and the opposite flared ends 216 of the spring are provided with hooks which, after the spring is tensioned, are sprung about the arms 106 of thethin'ge 128 so as to `bear outwardly against the inner surfaces of these arms 106. =It -is apparent that'twhen the Zhinge joint -12S=is-movedupwardly and the panel ends at-this point rise and form an increasingly Vacute angle the spring I215 will serve to aid in raisingA the panel ends, and upon extension of the table during ,the lowering of these adjacent panel. ends lthe spring will oier lsome resistance tothe force of gravity 4and facilitate the manual extension and collapsing of the table.

I n Figure 20 of the drawings an alternative form of balancing device is provided in which the hinge forming bracket arms l106 extending from the respective table panel .edges '115 and 116, and 117 and 113, receive the hinge piutle rod 107. The rod is welded as at 220 to the brackets so that the rod may be somewhat relaxed during the upward `folded position of the hinge joints 128 as shown -in Figure 1l but placed under increasing torsional stress as the joint is lowered to the position shown in solid lines in Figure 10. Those of the arms 106 to which the rod 107' is welded are spaced a sufticient distance apart to utilize the torsional tension in a considerable length of this rod. Of course, other centering and intermediate bracing brackets may be disposed at suitable points across the table for `loosely rcceiving the rod.

A torsion balancing arrangement may also be provided lat the hinged joint at the top lof the legs 30 or 130 Vand between the panel sections 16 and 17 or 116 and 117 as shown in Figures `16 and 17. For this purpose, widely `spaced elements 267 and 203 may be welded as at 223 and 224 to the pintle rod 240.6 and thus the length ot' -rodbetween the welded sections may act as a torsion element in balancing this hinged joint of the table.

In Figures 21-24 inclusive there .is illustrated an embodiment of the invention which is of a somewhat simpler form of construction and which provides for the collapsing of a table composed of two panels having offset lhinges similar to those shown at 128 in the embodiment illustrated in -.Figures 9 and 10, and having collapsible braced and guided leg frames kadapted to be brought into `parallel nested positions between the panels of the table-'top when they are folded together. The table comprising this embodiment is indicated generally by the lreference numeral 30d and consists of the panels 301 and 302 forming the table-top, these panels connected by a hinge `connection designated generally by the numeral 305 and entailing the provision of offset or angled hinge plates 306 extending from the respective edges of the panels and connected by a pintle rod 307. The same sort of springing or `torsioning balance feature may -be provided vin this pivotal connection `as was de- 'scribed in Aconnection with Figures '18, 19 and 20 illustrating the seconddescribed ,embodiment of the multiple table and bench construction.

In this present embodiment there are two leg frames 310 which are of substantially identical construction but having the -wheels or rollers 312 offset slightly in the same direction in each frame so as to avoid collision of the rollers of ythe two frames. In this way the rollers may overlap each other as `indicated in the folded position in Figure 3. The frames may comprise the uprights 314 having a cross connection 315 and a transverse upper bar 31.6 which is hinged to the respective panel 301 or 302 in any suitable way, as for example, by means Iof trunnions 317 extending through `openings in depending angle brackets 315. Cross braces 320 extend from pivot point-s 321 on the cross bar `315 to similar points of pivotal connection 322 on Athe underside of the vopposite panel adjacent the hinge connection 305.

The successive `positions of the various parts of the table -will b e clearly understood from Figures 2], 22 and 23. As the panels 301 and 302 of the table are arched during folding operation `the legs are inclined slightly due to the cross connections 3,29 and ultimately the leg frames 510 are brought into contact between the panels yas clearly shown in Figure 23. In order to provide for clearance of the cross .braces 320 and the upper rods 516 of the l.respective leg frames, tthe braces may -be notched spaanse out as at 324 and similar notches 323 formed in the cross bars 316 of the leg frames.

In Figures 25-28 of the drawings -a larger folding table installation i-s shown which is designated generally by the reference numeral 400. The central hinging 405 of the two panels 401 and 402 may be constructed and counter-balanced in the same way as the hinge 305 in the embodiment shown in Figure 21.

The table panels in this embodiment are provided with wheel supported end leg frames 410, the wheels being indicated at 412, and the wheels may be oset in ditferent amounts on the two frames so as not to collide when brought into collapsed position, just a-s in the case of the embodiment illustrated in Figure 24. Additional supporting leg frames 450 are provided inwardly of the frames 410 and these frames are not provided with wheels but are designed to lift from the floor when the -table is collapsed as clearly indicated in Figure 26. The leg frames 410 and 450 are generally of inverted U-shape having upper cross bars which are trunnioned in the supporting brackets 418 and 451. The cross bar 'of the leg frame 410 is indicated at 416 in Figure 28. The leg frame 410 also comprises uprights 414 depending from the cross bar 416. The leg frames 450 include the upright elements 453 and 454. Links 455 connect lower portions of the leg frames 410 and 450 upon each side of the frames and upon each side of the center line of the table, these links intervening between the uprights of the two frames as clearly shown in r.Figure 28. Additional guiding and bracing links 420 -serve to pivotally connect the inward leg frames 450 to the pivot points 422 upon the undersides of the panels 401 and 402 on lopposite sides respectively of the hinge point 405.

During the folding movement the links 455 being parallel with the panels 401 and 402 maintain the leg frames 410 and 450 also in parallel relationship. During Ithe folding movement of the table the several parts pass through the position -shown in Figure 26 to the completely collapsed position indicated in Figure 27 wherein the panels 401 and 402 are disposed in parallel relation vbut spaced apart by the extension of the offset hinging arrangement 405. The U-sh-aped frames 450 and 410 overlap each other transversely, the frame 450 being on the outside and embracing the wheel frames 410.

To accommodate :the passage of the connecting braces by the top bars lof the leg frames 80 both of these elements may 'be attened -or notched as suggested in the embodiment illustrated in Figures 22 and 24 of the drawings. This enables all the parts vto be secured together as fully shown in Figure 27 of the drawings.

lIn Figures 29-31 of the drawings a table similar in some respects to the one just described, but being provided with attached bench sections, is indicated generally at 500. A central offset hinge 505 is provided to connect the two sections 501 and 502 and wheeled end supporting frames 510 are pivoted to the underside of the respective panels, and intermediate legs without wheels are shown at 550.

The leg frames 510 and 550 are quite similar to the frames employed in the rst two embodiments of the invention illustrated in Figures l-2O of the drawings, the central portion of the frames being composed of spaced upright members 514 connected by a lower crosspiece 515 and having a top cross bar 516 which is pivotally connected in any suitable way with the adjacent table panel 501 or 502. A bottom or floor bar 536 extends laterally upon either side of the centerand posts 537 extend upwardly therefrom and are provided with crosspi'eces 538 pivotally connected to the undersides of the bench sections 540 and 541. While Figure 32 illustrates the construction of the intermediate leg frames 550, it will be understood that the end framesY 510 are of very similar. construction but provided with the wheels 512 which may be connected as suggested by reference to 'l0 Figure S of the drawings relating tothe earlier-described wall attached embodiment.

It will be clearly understood that in this construction the bench sections 540 and 541 upon either side of the longitudinal center line of the table perform the further function of bracing the legs 510 and 550 and maintaining them parallel during their movements, in exactly the same way as the links 455 perform in the embodiment shown in Figure 26. The cross braces 520 are pivotally connected to the lower cross-piece 515 of the frame 550 as clearly shown in Figure 32 and these braces are pivoted to the undersides of the respective panels 501 and 502 as at 5'22.

Midway of the folding movement the parts occupy the positions shown in Figure 30 and whenultimately folded together the arrangement presents the compact appearance shown in Figurel. lSince the frames 550 and 510 cannot be nested in the same way as those described indicated at 410 and 450'in Figure 28, the hinge arrangement 505 must be somewhat wider or more offset than in the other embodiments so that fourthicknesses of framework may be embraced between the panels when in folded condition, namely the Wheel leg frames 510 and the intermediate leg frames 550. Just as in the other cases the braces 5,20 and the cross bars 516 may be flattened or notched out so as to pass each other without collision or the brace bars 520 may be curved or hinge points offset to avoid contact.

It will be noted that in this' embodiment, as in all yof the other modifications wherein benches are provided, the leg frames are so constructed and arranged that the tabletop supporting portions are connected to the bench supporting portions only by a transverse bar at oor level, thus presenting no impediment to movement along the spaces between the benches and the table proper.

It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the embodiments illustrated and described herein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

l. A collapsible table comprising, in combination, a table-top which comprises at least one pair of normally abutting co-planar horizontal panels and hinge means connecting the adjacent edges of adjoining panels for swinging movement in downward directions relative to the hinge pintle axis whereby when the remote portions of said pair of panels are maintained substantially'at a fixed level above the ground surface said adjoining 'panels arch upwardly and the pintle axis rises; depending substantially vertical leg frames spaced apart along the table, hinge means connecting the upper ends of said leg frames with the underside of said table-top at points spaced from the said hinged edges thereof; bracing and guiding means connected with said leg frames for maintainingsaid leg frames in substantially vertical positions during the folding movement of the table-top, the leg frames adapted to be embraced and enclosed between the approaching hinged table-top panels as the table is collapsed; the rst named hinge means comprising extended hinge members lixedly secured to the respective panels upon the undersides thereof and the hinge pintle connecting said hinge members at a point spaced both from each of the abutting panel edges and from the planes of the panel, the combined displacement of the hinge members being at least equal to the thickness of two leg frames, whereby the panels may arrive at parallel positions spaced apart sufficiently to embrace and confine closely at least two adjacent leg frames.

2. A collapsible table as in claim l wherein said bracing means comprises elongated elements connecting adjacent leg frames and secured to them at points equidistant from the respective hinge connections of said leg frames with the table-top,'whereby said connected leg frames are maintained in parallel substantially ver-v asados@ tical positions and ysaid bracing elements are maintained substantially parallel with the respective table-top panels.

3. The collapsible table as yset forth in claim 2 in which two substantially rectangular leg frames each comprising marginal framing elements `are hinged to one of said? table-top panels and are adapted to `nest one within the other when the -table is fully collapsed, and `for this purpose the 4marginal elements of one of said -leg frames arc spaced further apart than the cor-responding elements of the other of said frames so as to embrace said other frame when folded together.

4. A collapsible Atable asin claim 2 wherein said elongated members comprise brace links substantially -paralleling the table-top, hinged together in sections corresponding in length and location to the panels of the table-top, and pivotally connected with the several leg frames, whereby the -leg frames are maintained in substantially vertical positions at all times.

5. A collapsible table as in claim l including torsion spring counterbalancing means embodied in the hinge means between panels for `urging said panels toward folded collapsed position against the force of gravity, in order to facilitate the collapsing movement of the tabie.

6. lThe collapsible table as set forth in claim 5 wherein the torsion spring counter-balancing means comprises the pintle element of the panel hinge means, certain of the hinge members projecting from the respective panel edge portions being spaced apart transversely of the table-top and longitudinally of the hinge pintle element, and said pintle element being elongated to bridge the space between the said hinge members and iixedly secured to the latter mentioned hinge members, whereby swinging of the panels from collapsing toward open position serves to twist the pintle elementV to store up energy therein.

7. A collapsible table and bench construction comprising, in combination, a table-top which comprises a plurality of normally abutting co-planar horizontal panels and hinge means, comprising hinge members and a connecting member for said members, connecting the adjacent edges of adjoining panels for swinging movement in downward directions relative to the connecting member whereby when the remote portions of said pair of panels are maintained substantially at a `fixed level above the ground surface said adjoining panels arch upwardly and the connecting member rises until the panels arrive at close parallel positions one with respect to the other; depending substantially vertical `leg frames spaced apart along the table, khinge means connecting the upper ends of said leg frames -with the underside of said table-top, whereby the depending leg frames may remain substantially vertical during folding movement of the tabletop and ultimately be embraced by and confined between the folded parallel table-top panels in fully collapsed position; transversely projecting extensions on said leg frames and discontinuous bench sections pivotally supported upon said leg frame extensions at points at uniform heights from the ground surface, whereby said bench sections are maintained parallel -with the table-top panels to which they are respectively adjacent and may swing along with the folding of the table panels to parallel collapsed positions, the discontinuous bench sections extending only within the longitudinal limits of the correspond-- ing adjacent table-top panels, being supported by those leg fra-mes attached to said corresponding panels and having their ends spaced apart to provide gaps in the benches to afford access for users to the space between the table-top andthe benches.

8. A collapsible table and bench construction comprising, in combination, a table-top which comprises a'plurality of normally abutting co-planar horizontal panels and hinge means, comprising hinge members and a connecting member for said members, connecting the adjacent edges o f adjoining panels for swinging movement in downward directions-relatively to the connecting member whereby when the remote portions of said v`pair of panels are maintainedsubstantially ata fixed Ilevel above the ground surface said adjoining panels arch upwardly and the connecting member rises -until the panels arrive at close parallel positions one with respect to the other; depending `substantially vertical leg frames spaced apart along the table, hinge means connecting the upper ends of said leg frames with the underside of said table-top, whereby the depending leg frames may remain substanv tially vertical during folding movement of the table-top and ultimately be embraced by and confined between the folded parallel table-top panels in fully collapsed position; transversely projecting extensions on said leg frames and discontinuous bench sections pivotally supported upon said leg frame extensions at points at uniform height from the ground surface, whereby said bench sections arc maintained parallel with the table-top panels to which they are Vrespectively adjacent and may swing along with the folding Vof the table panels to parallel collapsed positions, Vthe discontinuous bench sections extending only within the longitudinal limits of the corresponding adjacent table-top panels, Lbeing 4supported by those leg frames attached to said corresponding panels and having their ends spaced apart to provide gaps in the benches to Aafford access for users to the space between the table-top and the benches; each of said transversely projecting extensions being alow bar closely adjacent the ground surface.

9. A collapsible table and bench construction comprising, in combination, an elongated `table-top which cornpriscs at least two normally abutting co-planar horizontal panels and hinge means, comprising hinge members and a connecting member for said members, connecting the adjacent edges of adjoining panels for swinging movement in downward directions relatively to the `connecting member whereby when the remote portions of said pair of panels are `maintained substantially at a fixed level above the ground surface said adjoining panels arch upwardly andthe connecting member rises until the panels arrive at close parellel positions one with respect to the other; depending substantially vertical leg frames spaced apart along the table, hinge means connecting the upper ends of said leg frames with the underside of said table-top, whereby the depending leg frames may remain substantially vertical during folding movement of the table-top and ultimately be embraced by and confined between the folded parallel table-top panels in fully collapsed position, `the leg frames being hinged to the table-top panels at points spaced from `the said hinged edges of said panels; transversely projecting extensions on said ,leg frames and discontinuous `bench sections pivotally supported upon said leg ,frame extensions at points at uniform height from the ground surface, whereby said bench sections are maintained parallel with the table-top panels to which they are respectively adjacent and may swing along with the folding of the table panels to parallel collapsed positions; the discontinuous bench sections extending only within the longitudinal limits of the corresponding adjacent table-top panels, being supported by those leg frames attached to said corresponding panels and having their ends spaced apart to provide gaps in the benches to afford access for users to the space between the tabletop and the benches, the gaps in the benches occurring at points in transverse alignment with the panel hinges.

l0. The collapsible table and bench construction as set forth in claim 9 in which `two leg frames are provided for each panel of an adjacent pair, the inwardly disposed legs pivoted tothe underside Of the panels at points spaced from the panel hinge means adapted to directly contact the ground surface when the construction is in opened position for use and adapted to rise from the ground surface upon collapsed movement, and the outward leg frames nearer the remote ,edges of the panels being provided with wheels and adapted `to remain at all times in rolling contact with the ground surface.

11. In a ,folding table of the ,class described, a pair of table-top panels, a 'hinge construction connecting said gassoso panels at their adjacent edges for downwardly swinging movement relative to the hinge pintle axis, table leg members pivotally connected to the bottom surface of the respective panels for folding movement in directions transverse to the hinge axis, and bracing elements pivotally connected to said leg members at points spaced dov/nwardly from the table-top, and each element extending across the vertical plane containing the hinge axis and pivotally connected to the underside of the table panel on the opposite side of the hinge axis from the leg member to which said element is attached.

12. A folding table as in claim 11 including bench members therefor, said bench members being supported by said table leg members in substantial parallelism with said table-top panels but below the plane of said panels and laterally of the transverse limits thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNlTED STATES PATENTS Offutt et a1. Jan. 29, Owens Nov. 3, Swartz Sept. 5, Schieber lune 4, Wells Oct. 26, Rosenbaum Jan. 17, Erickson July 4, Hogan Sept. 18, Howe Aug. 19, Mugler Jan. 18,

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Classifications
U.S. Classification297/158.4, 108/173, 108/99, 108/167
International ClassificationA47B3/14
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/14, A47B2003/145
European ClassificationA47B3/14